George Zimmerman‘s lawyers have decided his current judge is biased and has requested a new one to preside over his murder trial in the shooting of unarmed teen Trayvon Martin.
USA Today reports that Zimmerman’s attorney, Mark O’Mara, has filed a motion to disqualify current judge Kenneth Lester, who revoked Zimmerman’s initial bond, but then set a higher bond. O’Mara wrote that:
“Mr. Zimmerman has a reasonable fear that he cannot get a fair trial or a fair stand-your-ground hearing by this court. The court makes gratuitous, disparaging remarks about Mr. Zimmerman’s character; advocates for Mr. Zimmerman to be prosecuted for additional crimes; offers a personal opinion about the evidence for said prosecution; and continues to hold over Mr. Zimmerman’s head the threat of future contempt proceedings.”
The motion to dismiss Seminole County Circuit Judge Kenneth R. Lester by Zimmerman’s lawyers comes after the judge set bond for Zimmerman at $1 million, and also issued a scathing ruling that suggested the 28-year-old was guilty of other crimes after he misled the court about money he raised online, saying it appeared George Zimmerman was preparing to run.
O’Mara further stated, ” This court has already formed a negative opinion of Mr. Zimmerman that Mr. Zimmerman fears would carry over.”
The Miami Herald reports that prosecutors stated they are objecting to Zimmerman’s lawyer’s request, and will issue a written statement on Monday. Ultimately, the judge will make the decision himself. This is not the first time that O’Mara asked for a judge to be disqualified, as the first judge withdrew following O’Mara’s accusations of a conflict of interest.
Lester issued a separate court action, which ordered the release of a statement of a person, who is known as “witness 9.” This witness made serious allegations against Zimmerman that is unrelated to the killing. While the defense has attempted to keep witness 9’s statement from going public, believing her statements would hurt Zimmerman’s chance to a fair trial, it seems the judge disagrees.